It strikes me how little we - as the J&D community - ever even mention Arnie. While on a certain level thats logical - i.e. he wasn't a member of J&D! - I do think he is somewhat akin to David Marks, Stuart Sutcliffe or Pete Best: the third member! In some sense, he has been written out of the J&D story - although according to some accounts this was by his own doing (I read that he wanted his character written out of the "Deadman's Curve" movie).
As has been pointed out on these boards, Jan & Arnie were a very different act from J&D - I think 2dean2 once mentioned how Jan & Arnie are singing to one another and Jan & Dean are singing to the listener. I think, to judge by the music, Arnie had a very different relationship with Jan than Dean did. How different would the music have been had Arnie stayed, perhaps even forming a trio? Could he have stayed - was he more headstrong that Dean, perhaps making the working relationship with Jan more difficult?
I do think, however, that Arnie was a musical talent in his own right. The story that he quit the band because he disliked the music industry is partly contradicted by the fact he did try his hand at a number of other recordings, including a single with Bruce Johnston. What started me thinking about this, however, is coming across two tracks he recorded (I assume in 1959ish?), but which, as far as I know, were not released. Both, I think, are oustanding songs:
"Kathy Cryin' Heart" is a catchy number, laced with the ironic humour (even innuendo? - alongside the faux-arrogance of the lead vocal, there is a playful undercurrent) so prevalent in later J&D records. How can you not love a song with the spoken interlude:
"That girl has no looks, and no personality; but she does have feelings, and thats why I took her to the dance...so that she might have one good time"!
"Catching Spies" is a raw sounding garage number - foreshadowing the garage style which would flourish in the 60s.
So I wondered where people think Arnie stands in the J&D story, and what role he played their development. I know Mark has interviewed Arnie, and can shed more light on this than anyone else. But I do get the impression that Arnie did play an important role, that his musical skill and humour were a significant part of what later became J&D. Moreover, I think he was a talented musician in his own right, as these two tracks show. They are original, catchy, and despite their apparent simplicity are exceedingly well put together. In a sense, I suspect they were a bit too ahead of their times for 1959. Much as I love the Doo-wop style J&D were pioneering in 1959, I think Arnie was on to something really interesting.